Postgame Quotes - February 8, 2019

DETROIT PISTONS HEAD COACH DWANE CASEY: (On Reggie Jackson fully recovering) “I think I said it in the beginning of the year that it was going to take time for him to get back. Anytime you miss as much time as he did with his injury last summer, last year then into the summer, it takes a while. I don’t care who you are or what you do, or how much rehab you do, until you come back and play a lot of games and get your sea legs conditioning, it takes time. Since the last month, or last three weeks at least, he’s got a bounce to him and he is making good decisions, and I think that’s very important. Defensively he is chesting up people, making sure he gets in the pick-and-rolls, but most of all he is making good decisions with the basketball.” 

 

(On playing Thon Maker and Svi Mykhailiuk early in the game): “We had a good lead in the first half, it almost back fired on us, but I really liked it. Those guys in there I really trust, I don’t know Svi (Mykhailiuk), as well as I do Thon (Maker). I trust Thon because he has kicked our butts in the playoffs situation before, so I know what he can do defensively and offensively. So it just takes time, they have been with us one day and it’s not fair to Svi to come in and expect a lot out of him as far as understanding the offense, getting a rhythm for getting his shots within what we are doing, a few more days and he should be up to par. Thon, as far as his defense, I really liked him and Andre (Drummond) in there together. If people want to drive down in the paint against that length and size, it should be a positive for us in the defensive end.”

 

(On if this three-game win streak means anything going forward): “Not really, consistency is what we are fighting for. I’m glad we’re winning, but we want to continue to fight for consistency on all fronts; offensive, defensive, effort, focus, whatever it is that is what we are fighting for. Just like the first part of the season we won so many games in a row then we went into a dip, so let’s fight for it, fight for consistency.”

 

DETROIT PISTONS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN: (On taking the fourth quarter off): “It’s great. Beyond the wins, we’ve played with the right spirit and played the right way. Basketball gods reward you when you play the right way. Being able to take the fourth quarter off has been really nice, especially at this time of the season.”

(On Reggie Jackson’s play the past month): “He’s been great. He’s been unbelievable—patient in the pick-and-rolls, aggressive at times when he needs to be, passing the ball well, finishing well, shooting the three well. He’s really, to his credit, he’s really just stuck with it, kept working and broken through.”

DETROIT PISTONS CENTER ANDRE DRUMMOND: (On how important his double-double was to set the tone for his team) “It definitely starts the energy first, just coming out and getting my guys going early on the defensive end. I try to get early stops and blocked shots to get our team energized, the rest is history from there, we played really well tonight.”

 

(On how much fun Thon Maker can be as another shot blocker) “Yeah, he’s a tall specimen, I had to look up at him like dang man, It's really, really good to have him, both guys that we just acquired, and looking forward to finishing the season off strong and getting in good playoff position.”

 

(On Reggie Jackson’s last couple weeks being his best in a couple years): “Absolutely, I think Reggie (Jackson) has done a really good job accepting his role and playing within it and he’s having a lot of fun with it. He’s still scoring just as much as he was in prior years, but he’s doing it in different ways now and it’s working out for him. He’s helping our team as well, him scoring the way that he is scoring is energizing all of us and it takes a lot of pressure off Blake (Griffin) and myself.” 

 

NEW YORK KNICKS HEAD COACH DAVID FIZDALE: (On what he saw from their outside shooting tonight): “I thought we got some good looks there. We got to the line, I think we missed a bunch of free throws in the fourth. That’s what happened, it just ends up breaking you when you don’t hit those shots, especially after you gain so much momentum fighting back. But, I was pretty proud of the way the kids battled back and got themselves into that game.”

 

(On what he saw tonight from Dennis Smith, Jr.): “Yes, he’s going to make his free throws, I’m not worried about that. But, he knows how to get that rim, he really knows how to run a team, and we’re just getting started together, and I’m really excited for the future with him.”

 

NEW YORK KNICKS GUARD DENNIS SMITH JR.:(On what he thinks it will take to make the team play consistently for four quarters): “Just heart. It’s going to take a lot of heart from top to bottom. Our coach has it and I believe everybody on our staff has it. We’ve just got to bring that intensity every night and if we do that, I think the wins will start to pile up. Tonight, I thought we brought it, but it was on me. I’ve got to make free throws, I let them down. It’s just something I can correct, it’s just some extra work, and I’ve got room to grow just like everybody else.”

 

(On the relationship that’s forming with Coach Fizdale and how much it helps that he’s bringing him up to speed so quickly): “A lot. He told me to keep things in perspective, because everybody knows how I feel about losing, especially when I could’ve done something to change the outcome of that. He just told me to keep it in perspective that I’m having fun playing again and that’s just the truth. I am enjoying playing basketball, I’m not enjoying losing, but I’m having fun going out there and competing and you’ve got to keep things like that in perspective.”

 

(On if the first quarter was more what the Pistons were doing or what the Knicks weren’t doing): “It was what we weren’t doing. We were giving them a lot of easy looks, transition lay-ups, wide open threes. It was the intensity, we’ve got to start the game out with the same level of intensity when we took the lead.”